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Thiel shows commitment to New Zealand by spending 12 days in it

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, June 29th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, national, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

This must be bring out your dead week.  The ongoing Todd Barclay saga is such that there is almost no news that could replace it.  But this particular release will I am sure will attract a lot of attention.

I blogged about the grant of citizenship to Peter Thiel earlier this year.  My post said this:

dump of papers at 5 pm on a Wednesday the same day that the election date is announced is a somewhat cynical abuse of the OIA system.  But that is what happened.  Yesterday at 5 pm the papers relating to Peter Thiel’s grant of citizenship were released.

And what an unusual picture they paint.  Mr Thiel did not qualify for a grant of citizenship.  To do so he is meant to actually live in the country for a reasonably substantial amount of time and it appears he has spent only limited amounts of time here.  But he thought that his incredible wealth and his generosity ought to qualify him for a grant of citizenship.  His entreprenuial skill incuded investing in Facebook and creating Paypal and writing Xero a big cheque.  He claimed that being a New Zealand citizen would “enable him to represent the country on the international stage and give him greater confidence in mobilising New Zealand’s talented entrepreneurs”.

It was recommended by the Department that his application be approved and it was.

DIA blanked out the number of days that Thiel actually spent in New Zealand.  He was meant to spend 1,350 days or about 74% of the time in New Zealand.  For some reason DIA thought the information should not be released.

The reason offered was to protect the privacy of a natural person.  All sorts of other information concerning him was released including the fact that he had visited New Zealand four times.

Radio New Zealand took the matter to the Ombudsman and he stated that the public interest in the matter clearly outweighed Thiel’s right to privacy.  The information has been released today.

How many days did Thiel spend in New Zealand during the past 5 years?

Drum roll …

12.

He was in New Zealand 0.6575% of the time.  I repeat that normal policy required him to be in New Zealand at least 74% of the time.

What has he done for New Zealand to deserve such exceptional treatment?

  • He did make a $1 million donation to the Prime Minister’s Canterbury Earthquake fund.
  • He entered into a joint venture with the Government where he invested under $7 million and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund put in $9 million.  Then when the price of Xero shares purchased by the JV spiked Thiel was able to invoke the buyout clause and pay the NZVIF out essentially at cost netting him $23 million.  Kaching.
  • He bought sensitive land in Queenstown.  The grant of citizenship meant he did not have to worry about Overseas Investment Office scrutiny.
  • I am not aware of any occasion where he has utilised his skill to help New Zealand or New Zealanders as was claimed in his application for citizenship.

You have to wonder why the information was withheld, particularly as the number of times he had visited New Zealand was disclosed.  Political embarassment is not and should never be grounds for withholding official information.

48 comments on “Thiel shows commitment to New Zealand by spending 12 days in it”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Doesnt NZ citizenship allow him to donate to national political parties ?

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    What needs to be done now is find out if a bribe was enacted so that the law would be broken in his favour.

    • Craig H 2.1

      The law wasn’t broken – the Minister of Internal Affairs is entitled to grant citizenship to anyone (not to defend the grant of citizenship in this case as being anything other than BS, mind).

  3. Dirty and even dirtier. I can’t stand this corruptlike situation – it must be sorted.

  4. McFlock 4

    heh. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – the blacked-out bit is only three digits long, including a space after the number. You couldn’t fit four digits in there by any stretch 🙂

    12 is taking the piss. To be resident in a country, surely you need time to unpack before leaving again?

    edit: apparently not, if you’re obscenely wealthy

    • Andre 4.1

      I guess with enough money you can establish “virtual residence”. Better than the real thing!

    • Bearded Git 4.2

      12 days over 4 visits….that means 8 days arriving and departing and 4 complete days.

  5. Sabine 5

    One of the hardest thing for migrants into NZ is the requirement to not to leave NZ on your 1 year visa or else loose the visa. So if you want to go from your ‘working visa’ for one year status to the two year visa – returning visa holder status you must stay put.
    Once you get the two year visa you must stay at a minimum 6 month +1 day per year, for many that is then the first time they would plan to travel overseas to visit family again. Once you have passed that two year hurdle and and can supply evidence that you have spend the required amount of time in NZ you can file for permanent residence.
    Oh my, it must be so much fun to have money.

    • Sabine 5.1

      to add, and then after a few years on a permanent residence visa years one can file for citizen ship.

      So really it can take several years to go from migrant to Citizen.

      He really did get a lot of bang for his petty cash, did he not?

    • Craig H 5.2

      Most visas, including all Working Holidays, have travel conditions, so they can come and go as much as they please these days.

      • Sabine 5.2.1

        if this has changed its good.
        when i got my first visa it was clearly stated that this visa expires the day i leave the country irrespective of teh natural expiry date of the visa.

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Money talks in NZ especially if you have plenty of it, in the USA they call it
    “pay to play” ?

    • mary_a 6.1

      @ Tamati Tautuhi (6) … I call it bribery and corruption. Nastyanal party is saturated in it!

  7. tc 7

    Another great example of national having a price on pretty much everything.

    Looks like petey is in the club as not only did he get citizenship but also cut into a great deal to help with his moving costs, how convenient.

  8. silvertuatara 8

    And all the while the number of homeless in New Zealand keeps climbing.

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    A fellow Bilderberger along with JK, Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas ?

  10. ianmac 10

    Matt Nippet has a deadpan report on Theil. Says it is legal with barely a twitch.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11883554

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      That article starts off with a lie. It says he got citizenship after a two week holiday when in truth he merely passed through four times.

  11. mary_a 11

    The Thiel citizenship case goes to prove the Nastyanal party is corrupt through and through in everything it touches!

    I’d be interested to know what the deal was to grant someone citizenship after “residing” in NZ only 12 days and even then that was broken up into four visits I think!

  12. mauī 12

    Whoop go Pete! What a star. When does he get his knighthood.

  13. frankie and benjy 13

    Who was the minister at the time?
    I forget and I’m sure they will have shuffled jobs to avoid calls for resignation or answering further questions etc.

    • It was ‘what’s his name’, that shadow we kept seeing behind Key …. Nathan Guy
      Who has had ‘Nathan Guy’ loves (or likes?) The Otaki cycle track- billboards up around his electorate for at least 6 weeks now as a bit of tax payer funded pre election non campaigning bullshit, just like Winny and his seabed billboards
      I suggested to the Labour guy that someone should paint Peter Thiel in pink letters across Guys ‘privilaged’ preelection crap
      Rod at least had a laugh

  14. Malcolm Hall 14

    He’s a big Trump supporter etc. But when Hair Twitler REALLY screws things up and it all finally hits the fan in the northern hemisphere, Thiel can hop aboard his private jet, refuel in Hawaii and head straight to NZ. His bolthole in Queenstown should escape the worst of any global disaster. It’s only fair really….

  15. Gabby 15

    xero guy got his 3o second free ad spot, Nothing Guy got the tapes back.

  16. Paul Campbell 16

    So I have a question – the original document said “because he was in NZ as a permanent resident for 12 days in those years”

    Did he really go to all the trouble of acquiring a permanent residency visa for just a 12 day stay?

    • Craig H 16.1

      Under the Investor 1 category I believe (same as Kim Dotcom and James Cameron) – being a NZ resident is one of the citizenship criteria.

  17. Philj 17

    “It’s a great big club and you, and I, ain’t in it” – George Carlin

  18. saveNZ 18

    Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

    “In a 2009 essay called The Education of a Libertarian, Thiel declared that capitalism and democracy had become incompatible. Since 1920, he argued, the creation of the welfare state and “the extension of the franchise to women” had made the American political system more responsive to more people – and therefore more hostile to capitalism. Capitalism is not “popular with the crowd”, Thiel observed, and this means that as democracy expands, the masses demand greater concessions from capitalists in the form of redistribution and regulation.

    The solution was obvious: less democracy. But in 2009, Thiel despaired of achieving this goal within the realm of politics. How could you possibly build a successful political movement for less democracy?

    Fast forward two years, when the country was still slowly digging its way out of the financial crisis. In 2011, Thiel told George Packer that the mood of emergency made him “weirdly hopeful”. The “failure of the establishment” had become too obvious to ignore, and this created an opportunity for something radically new, “something outside the establishment”, to take root.

    Now, in 2016, Thiel has finally found a politician capable of seizing that opportunity: a disruptor-in-chief who will destroy a dying system and build a better one in its place. Trump isn’t just a flamethrower for torching a rotten establishment, however – he’s the fulfillment of Thiel’s desire to build a successful political movement for less democracy.

    A Trump administration would diminish democracy, lending credibility to white supremacy and ultranationalism
    Trump is openly campaigning on the idea that American democracy should belong to fewer people.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/11/donald-trump-steve-bannon-peter-thiel-214490

  19. saveNZ 19

    Peter Thiel is a scary individual who does not believe in government and democracy. In his application according to Wiki he never intended to live in NZ, so the question remains why is the National government grovelling to get his citizenship including the commercially inappropriate sweetheart deal’ in which he netted 22 million profit as well as giving away NZ citizenship even though Thiel did not meet the criteria, already has 2 different citizenships with EU and USA and was never going to live here.

    It seems being on the board of directors of Facebook has a lot of electioneering benefits. Social media harvesting helped Trump and Brexit.

    As does the Palantir technologies which is a big data analysis company that is used by the US counter terrorism and financial industries.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/04/nigel-oakes-cambridge-analytica-what-role-brexit-trump

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

  20. mary_a 20

    Another bankroller and voter for the vile sleaze that is the Natzianal party to keep them in business!

  21. saveNZ 21

    If the left want to win against the rising right using dubious fear based social media individualised techniques, then the left need to dig a little deeper and get away from piecemeal policy and back to the basics human rights for all.

    Voters around the world are feeling increasingly uneasy about the erosion of democracy and human rights into a new capitalist model fuelled by billionaires like Thiel who have the social media tools to get their unpopular righties into power using individualised propaganda.

    Remember what caused the massive turn of popularity to Corbyn? It was when Theresa started talking about getting rid of human rights and that was followed by an example of that, with a fire in social housing that should never have occurred in a decent society.

    Human rights beat money, economy and capitalism….

    If Labour and Greens want to beat National they need to address the rise of the far right, anti government, anti regulation rhetoric.

    Things are not fair any more in this country and around the world and the Panama papers, Pike River and Canterbury water take over, Supercity are all examples when people’s rights are being railroaded and a two tier society being created.

  22. Red 22

    I can’t see the the down side side here Theil simply asked for citizenship on the basis of the the benifitd he could bring to nz re network and influence on the world stsge thus win win for both nz and Thiel , no big deal, it’s not about comparing his application to joe average citizen application, the law provide for special cases, he is one, end of story

    • marty mars 22.1

      yep real special – got lots of money – wow – bow down to the hero. 12 days mate does not a summer make – he isn’t special he is privileged and got the the gnats all goo goo ga ga with his big wallet – shows what utter dims they are.

    • saveNZ 22.2

      Yes Red, Billionaire Trump supporter Thiel are welcome to NZ citizenship! Soon we can divide our country into race and gender like the USA, Trump style, so busy fighting each other, government can ceed control to billionaire corporations, reduce democracy, and we have a brave new world.

      Not really one that most people will want to live in, however.

  23. Caltha Obtusa 23

    Thiel is a political donor and manipulator.
    A million to the Chch. rebuild is peanuts to him.
    My concern is that he will find a way to fund the National Party through 3rd parties – as Cambridge Analytica has done with Aggregate IQ. (in Canada and therefore outside of the legal jurisdiction of the countries being manipulated) . And also use his vast IT data base with Palantir to twist our politics.
    Making money from NZ citizenship is not his interest. He’s a multi billionaire. His interest, like Mercer with Cambridge Analytica, is whether he can manipulate a whole country through data harvesting (thankyou Facebook) then using that data to influence a whole population. It is simply a game to him and NZ is a small enough country for him to succeed.
    He’s a dangerous person to NZ.
    You can be quite sure he will find hidden ways to support and fund the political party that gave him citizenship.

  24. Dave 24

    so a person some of you voted for (a lot of you didn’t vote for) gets to say who comes in to the country and who doesn’t and of cause he would know best because he was elected cool

  25. KJT 25

    Cost NZ millions. Gets citizenship.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11794020

    No different from “steal millions, get a knighthood” I suppose.

    Or. Cost NZ billions, playing with our currency. Become Prime Minister.

    • Andre 25.1

      Strictly speaking it seems to be the other way around. Got citizenship, then suckered the millions from the taxpayer.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
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    3 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
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    3 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
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    3 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
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    3 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
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    4 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
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    4 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
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    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
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    5 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
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    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
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    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
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  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
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    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
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    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
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    6 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
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    7 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
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    7 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
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    1 week ago